Fishing News

Yamaha Pro Justin Lucas Claims 2018 Toyota® Bassmaster® Angler of the Year Title

Posted 9/24/2018

Hiawassee, Ga., Sept. 24, 2018 -  Yamaha Pro Justin Lucas is the 2018 Toyota® Bassmaster® Angler of the Year.  Starting the tournament on Lake Chatuge with an eight-point lead in the AOY season standings, Lucas had solid catches on Thursday and Friday, stretching that lead to an almost-insurmountable 47 points. Lucas’ title marks the second consecutive AOY win for Team Yamaha; Brandon Palaniuk was named AOY in 2017.
The California native turned Alabama resident caught five bass that weighed only 11 pounds, 14 ounces Sunday, Sept. 23, but his three-day weight of 39-0 was more than enough to give him the coveted AOY title and a $100,000 bonus - the biggest accomplishment of his career.
“I wanted this so badly,” Lucas said. “The build-up to this tournament affected every part of my life. I haven’t been sleeping because I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my game plan for this week. I’m the 23rd guy who’s ever won this in the 50-year history of B.A.S.S., and that’s humbling.”
Lucas came into the week knowing if he finished inside the top eight, he couldn’t lose the AOY title. His Sunday weight helped lift him into seventh place and capped a dominant finish to his 2018 season.
The seventh-place showing marked his fifth straight Top 12 appearance in a Bassmaster® Elite Series event, dating back to the regular-season tournament held on the Sabine River in Orange, Texas, in June.
“I’ve always considered myself a better prespawn, spawn and maybe a little bit of a postspawn fisherman, and then I kind of struggled after that,” Lucas said. “So I can’t explain it. This summer, I’ve just caught fire and it hasn’t slowed down.”
In addition to the AOY title, Lucas qualified for the 2019 Bassmaster® Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods® — his fourth time to qualify for bass fishing’s biggest event in five years on the Elite Series.

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